Zifa hunting for new coach

08 Dec, 2019 - 00:12 0 Views

The Sunday Mail

Langton Nyakwenda

NEWLY crowned Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Coach of the Year Joey Antipas has to join a host of other prospective candidates in applying for the Warriors job after Zifa advertised the senior national team vacancy last week.

While Antipas has been doubling as Chicken Inn and Warriors coach since August, his mandate expires on December 31.

But effectively, his stint with the Warriors ended last month when his men turned on the magic to become the first Zimbabwe side to beat Zambia in their backyard when a Khama Billiat brace ensured a 2-1 victory in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Lusaka.

The unassuming former Motor Action gaffer was in charge of six games, including the CHAN qualifiers and the back- to- back 2022 World Cup preliminary round qualifier against Somalia.

Although there had been earlier indications that Zifa could hand Antipas an extension to his mandate, the change in the CHAN finals fixture programme seems to have given the association some breathing space.

Initially, the CHAN finals had been scheduled for January in Cameroon. They have has since been rescheduled to April-June in the same country.

However, the Warriors’ next major assignment is in March next year when the World Cup group stage qualifiers begin.

Most likely, Zifa has opened bids for the Warriors substantive gaffer’s post now due to the national team’s small window of inactivity.

The successful candidate is expected to commence duties next month.

According to an advert posted on the Zifa website: “The new Warriors coach should be a holder of a CAF A Coaching Badge and should have at least 10 years’ international football experience.”

Zifa also wants someone with practical experience of Zimbabwean and African football.

In the same advert, Zifa also called for applications for the Warriors team manager, referees desk manager, women football administrator, youth development officer and an assistant to the technical director.

The football mother body is also hunting for a marketing officer, an accounts clerk and a manager for the Zifa Village in Mt Hampden.

But just like Antipas, incumbent team manager Wellington Mpandare — instrumental in getting the Diaspora talent’s commitment to play for Zimbabwe — also has to reapply for his post.

The national coach and general manager posts now have more responsibilities. As a result, Zifa will be considering candidates who hold higher qualifications for the posts.

Some of the requirements for both posts is a sporting degree or diploma and at least 10 years’ international football experience.

Among the general manager’s duties are drafting national teams’ budgets, submitting national team reports and arranging training facilities.

However, it is ironic that the cash-strapped association has advertised the women’s football administrator post when both Fifa and CAF have heavily invested in incumbent Theresa Maguraushe.

Just a fortnight ago, Zifa dispatched Maguraushe to Egypt for the CAF Women Football Administrator course. The course equips administrators with skills to implement the recently crafted CAF Women’s football strategy. Between 2016 and 2017, Maguraushe underwent two Fifa courses in Zurich and Netherlands. The Fifa Female Leadership Development Programme is meant to strengthen female administrators’ ability to lead in the world of football.

But despite all those investments, the officials at No. 53 Livingstone Avenue will have to decide whether Magaraushe’s application and qualifications are suitable for her to run the women’s desk.

Magaraushe has been battling to keep the women’s game alive in a largely frustrating environment.

In September, Zifa hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons when the Mighty Warriors failed to raise a team and were walked over by Zambia in an Olympic qualifier at the National Sports Stadium.

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